India and England played a 1-1 draw to gain their first points in the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament on Sunday. Young striker Shilanand Lakra scored his maiden international goal for India in the 14th minute but Mark Gleghorne converted a penalty stroke in the 52nd minute to tie the score for England. It was a positive start for both the teams as they looked to threaten each other through some precise build-up play. England primarily dominated the first quarter but India kept pushing for a counter attack and it was Shilanand Lakra who scored in the 14th minute to give India an early lead.
The second quarter was more balanced between the two teams as India started the quarter well, winning a total of eight penalty corner to put England on the back-foot. However, India's efforts on goal were either saved or blocked by the English defence which meant that England survived the opening spell of pressure created by the Indian team.
England were awarded their first penalty corner of the match towards the start of the third quarter and looked to make the most of it. India were reduced to 10-men team as Shilanand had earned himself a green card at the stroke of the half-time hooter. However, to England's disappointment, Mark Gleghorne's delivery was deflected off his teammate Ian Sloan as India survived a nervy few minutes at the start of the third quarter. India had the better chances in the third quarter and could have extended their lead but the English defense was saved by their resolute defending in important scenarios.
The fourth quarter was an important one for both the teams as India looked to snatch the victory with a second goal, while England were eager to find the equaliser and make it an interesting final few minutes for the crowd in Ipoh. The English attack struck to their task in the final quarter and earned themselves a penalty stroke in the 52nd minute when India were found guilty of a stick-check inside their own striking circle. It was England's Mark Gleghorne who showed his calm and experience as he beat India's young goalkeeper Krishan Pathak to find the equaliser for his team with eight minutes to play.
Both the teams then looked for the winner and India even got an opportunity to score a winner but the match ended in 1-1 draw.
On Tuesday, India will take on Australia in their third match at 15.30 hours IST.